Daily The Business

Shibli made Info Minister, Asim Bajwa replaces Firdous

By Our Staff Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shibli Faraz has been appointed as Federal Information Minister, while China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Chairman and former Director General ISPR Lt-Gen (Retd) Asim Bajwa made Special Assistant to PM on Media.
According to a notification issued by the Establishment Division on Monday, the competent authority appointed Lt Gen (r) Bajwa as chairman of the CPECA, which comes under the planning and development ministry. “The new chairperson will get MP-I scale for four years from the date of assuming the charge of the office with immediate effect and until further orders,” it stated.
Retired Lt Gen Bajwa had served as Commander Southern Command before his retirement. He remained director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations from 2012 to 2016.
The government had established the CPECA through an ordinance in October, before the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing. The basic aim of forming the authority is to ensure timely completion of the CPEC projects. The prime minister had said the CPECA will help ensure coordination among the departments concerned. The authority had reportedly been given vast powers to summon any information related to CPEC activities and impose penalties on those who fail to do so.
Meanwhile, Shibli Faraz is serving as the Leader of the House in the Senate. Last year, the government had appointed Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa as chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA).
Another report adds: The federal government on Monday has decided to make major changes in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law. According to details, the cases of corruption above Rs one billion will come under the jurisdiction of anti-graft watchdog while a high-level commission will be made for decision making purpose.
The commission will exercise all the authority of NAB chairman as per new amendments. Earlier, federation had decided to hold consultation with opposition and coalition parties over new NAB Amendment Ordinance. A committee was formed to hold talks with all stake holders and experts in this regard.
The task of making a new ordinance was given to the Ministry of Law and Justice, sources told.
Firdous Ashiq loses portfolio over ‘corruption’
PM Imran Khan on Monday de-notified Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan as his special assistant on information and broadcasting reportedly over corruption allegations, replacing her with former ISPR director general (DG) Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa.
An intelligence report informed the PM’s Office about the alleged involvement of Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and a senior official of the Ministry in awarding govt advertisements to some media houses in lieu of bribes. The source said that following the intelligence tip-off, PM Imran tasked Information Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani to probe the allegations.
The source added that upon investigation, a senior official of the Information Ministry pointed to the involvement of Dr Firdous in corruption.
The source said that Firdous was summoned to PM Office where PM’s Principal Secretary Azam Khan confronted her with the findings of the inquiry and directed her to step down. The former SAPM was also informed that she had violated the rules of business by acquiring additional vehicles and employees without authorisation.
“Firdous refused to resign and insisted on meeting the prime minister to clarify her position. However, the PM did not give her an audience and she was de-notified from her office a few hours later,” the source claimed.

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